Kingdom Tower is a supertall skyscraper approved for construction in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at a preliminary cost of US$1.23 billion. It will be the centerpiece and first phase of a US$20 billion proposed development known as Kingdom City that will be located along the Red Sea on the north side of Jeddah. If completed as planned, the tower will reach unprecedented heights, becoming the tallest building in the world, as well as the first structure to reach the one-kilometer mark. The design, created by American architect Adrian Smith, incorporates many unique structural and aesthetic features.
The creator and leader of the project is Saudi Arabian Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, the wealthiest Arab in the Middle East, and nephew of King Abdullah. Talal is the chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), the largest company in Saudi Arabia, which owns the project, and a partner in Jeddah Economic Company (JEC), which was formed in 2009 for the development of Kingdom Tower and City. Reception of the proposal has been highly polarized, receiving high praise from some as a culturally significant icon that will symbolize the nation’s wealth and power, while others question its socioeconomic motives, and forecast that it will actually have negative financial consequences.